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Anansi Boys [Kindle Edition]

Neil Gaiman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bursting with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman, this story blends fantasy with humour and drama.



Fat Charlie Nancy is not actually fat. He was fat once but he is definitely not fat now. No, right now Fat Charlie Nancy is angry, confused and more than a little scared - right now his life is spinning out of control, and it is all his dad's fault.



If his rotter of an estranged father hadn't dropped dead at a karaoke night, Charlie would still be blissfully unaware that his dad was Anansi the spider god. He would have no idea that he has a brother called Spider, who is also a god. And there would be no chance that said brother would be trying to take over his life, flat and fiancée, or, to make matters worse, be doing a much better job of it than him. Desperate to reclaim his life, Charlie enlists the help of four more-than-slightly eccentric old ladies and their unique brand of voodoo - and between them they unleash a bitter and twisted force to get rid of Spider. But as darkness descends and badness begins is Fat Charlie Nancy going to get his life back in one piece or is he about to enter a whole netherworld of pain?


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Review

A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story... Anansi Boys combines the anarchy of Douglas Adams with a Wodehousian generosity of spirit (Susanna Clarke)

'Whizzing, twirling, erupting into dazzling cartwheels, firing off showers of multi-colored sparks, chortling to itself and muttering killer-diller one-liners, ANANSI BOYS draws the reader, ever more wide-eyed and amazed, into a world both feather-light and chockablock with mortal danger. Only Neil Gaiman could have brought this fraught enchantment into being, and the ongoing, ultimately revelatory travails of Fat Charlie Nancy display Gaiman's remarkable imaginative powers at full stretch. This book is going to sail off the shelves' Peter Straub (Peter Straub)

'A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story about the impossibility of putting up with your relations - especially if they happen to be Gods. Anansi Boys combines the anarchy of Douglas Adams with a Wodehousian generosity of spirit. Guaranteed to make all but the most committed arachnophobe feel gratefully towards spiders' Susanna Clarke (Susanna Clarke)

'As imaginative fiction goes it has become clear that Gaiman has long since left any box. His credentials as a bankable novelist have grown with each title...from his epic of warring divinities, AMERICAN GODS, to ANANSI BOYS, which debuted at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.' (Time, Australia)

'Mixing farce and fantasy, epic mythology and domestic drama, Gaiman's novel is a clever piece of storytelling and a celebration of the magic of make-believe.' ( Independent on Sunday )

'Neil Gaiman is one of the few genuinely intelligent writers of what is generally described as 'post-modern' fiction - his work is thoughtful, wise, spiritually challenging and incredibly funny...From Gaiman, it's a treasure, every word. I can't imagine a better way to start a holiday' Manda Scott, Church of England Newspaper, 22 July 2005 (Manda Scott, Church of England Newspaper)

'Brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic' Publishers Weekly, 18/7/05 (Publishers Weekly)

'Gaiman juggles several intersecting narratives expertly...blithely echoing numerous creation myths and folklore motifs, Terry Southern's antic farces, Evelyn Waugh's comic contes cruel, and even - here and there - Muriel Spark's whimsical supernaturalism...enormously entertaining throughout' Kirkus Reviews, 15 July 2005 (Kirkus Reviews)

'The author...gives us powerful deities - Anansi is as charming and dangerous as he ought to be... A thoughtful, atmospheric novel' (The Times)

'A book it's impossible not to love' (Starburst)

Gaiman is best-known for his Sandman series of graphic novels, but here he demonstrates an equally vivid ability to portray the mythic and the fantastic in comic prose...slapstick and verbal pyrotechnics are the primary motors of the book. The "apparent effortlessness" of this sort of writing requires planning and execution of a very high order... Neil Gaiman is a very good writer indeed, and this is a very funny bedtime story (Daily Telegraph)

'Bizarre, bonkers...rather brilliant' (Ian Hislop)

'Charm...and plotting that pirouettes on a dime. Urbane and sophisticated' Time Out (Time Out)

'Exhilarating and terrifying' (Independent)

'This is the most accomplished of Gaiman's novels thus far... Anansi Boys has charm going for it and a plot that pirouettes on a dime. Urbane and sophisticated' (Time Out)

'Part soap opera, part macabre fairy tale, part supernatural horror... Gaiman's writing is as sharp as ever, full of flair and fun...his characters are huge and full-blooded... Often hilarious and just as often unsettling, Anansi Boys is a dark delight' (SFX magazine)

[Neil Gaiman is the] literary equivalent of a sexy rock star (Scotland on Sunday)

'A dazzling adventure with gods, voodoo and family feuds - Gaiman fans will not be disappointed' (Sun Herald, Australia)

Peter Straub

‘Whizzing, twirling, erupting into dazzling cartwheels... ANANSI BOYS draws the reader...into a world both feather-light and chockablock with mortal danger'

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More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boys, boys! 25 Feb. 2007
By EA Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Neil Gaiman is best known for his witty, slightly wonky brand of dark fantasy. But he gets a bit lighter for "Anansi Boys," a sort of unconnected sequel to his hit "American Gods." You think your dad is embarrassing? Well, at least he's not a trickster god.

Fat Charlie's dad has always been weird -- brass bands for the terminally ill, nicknames that stick, and much more. But even away from his dad, Charlie isn't happy. Then he gets the news that his dad died during a karaoke song; when he goes to the funeral, an old neighbor tells him that Daddy was really Anansi the spider god. Even worse, Charlie finds out he has a brother.

Spider is everything Charlie isn't -- charming, debonair, witty, and magical. Soon he has not only taken over Fat Charlie's house, but his fiancee as well, distracting Fat Charlie from his boss's attempts to frame him. Determined to get rid of Spider, Fat Charlie enlists the Bird Woman's help -- but soon finds that his pact will only get them in deeper trouble with the ancient gods.

Trickerster gods -- Anansi, Loki, Kokopelli -- are always fun. And Gaiman makes the idea even more fun with "Anansi Boys." Sibling rivalry forms the backbone of the book, but it's also sprinkled with corporate intrigue, romance, and the old Anansi legends (which Gaiman inserts periodically). And of course -- lots and lots of humour.

With this lighter tone, Gaiman sounds a lot like his pal Terry Pratchett, right down to wry humor and comic timing. "There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life. These things are wine, women and song." "Curry's nice too." Gaiman seems to be having a lot of fun in this book.

And nowhere is the fun more clear than in Spider and Fat Charlie.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a bed-time story for grown-ups 11 May 2006
Format:Paperback
'Anansi Boys' is really a story about embarrassing parents and other relatives who turn up exactly when you least want and need them to that starts out completely - well, normal - and suddenly drops into a mixture of horror, fantasy, comedy and crime all at once. Fat Charlie Nancy discovers after his father's funeral that Dad wasn't just any emabarrassing parent but Anansi the trickster spider-god. And when voodoo witch Mrs. Higgler tells him he has a brother he can't even remember, Charlie impulsively calls said brother up (magically I mean not on the phone). which gets him ino a great deal of trouble with the police, his fiancé, various ancient gods, his psycho boss, and worst of all, his future mother-in-law...

Gaiman's story is the funniest thing I've read since the last time I bought a Discworld novel a year or so ago; it is also the spookiest. How many times do we all wonder who our parents were before they were parents, and why they have to be so embarrassing once they are? And how many of us have had nightmares about someone else taking over our lives? And above all, how does Gaiman manage to slip in the supernatural (or rather, weird) occurences into normal life with such ease that they seem completely logical, totally normal and so simple that it seems anyone should be able to perform 'miracles'? I guess its just a question of style; and Gaiman has lots of it. He appears to toss this story off without any effort whatsoever, and thus it reads more easily than most fantasy and/or horror stories that seem a lot more forced and constructed. And you simply cannot call it a book: it is a story of the same sort as the original Anansi stories: a fairy-tale.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality entertainment 22 Jun. 2006
Format:Hardcover
Neil Gaiman introduced Compe Anansi, the African spider-god and trickster, as a minor character in his last best seller, "American Gods." Although American Gods was readable, Anansi Boys is better. As another reviewer has pointed out, there were places where American Gods just felt like a bit of a re-hash of the Brief Lives story arc from "Sandman." By comparison, Anansi Boys takes the character and background of the African (or by now African-American) god Anansi and riffs on the mythos with highly original results.

Anansi himself is a brilliantly memorable creation - a dapper, fedora-wearing, wisecracking, Cab Calloway lookalike with a perpetual eye for the ladies (even after death) and a soft-shoe shuffle "that was popular for about half an hour in Harlem in the 1920's," and, in consequence, a constant source of toe-curling mortification to his estranged son Fat Charlie. When the story opens, Fat Charlie is living mundanely in South London, with a lukewarm fiancée, a mother-in-law-to-be from Hell, and a job working for a man who resembles the psychotic twin of Reggie Perrin's boss. He's one of life's mysteriously selected fall guys - his father plays humiliating jokes on him as a kid, promotion passes him over; coffee gets spilt on his lap, his embarrassing nickname survives weight loss and a 3000-mile move across the Atlantic, a wrongful arrest causes neighbours to assume that he must be a Yardie. Things, however, are about to get worse ... far, far worse.

Told with the authorial voice of a generous, stand-up raconteur (Gaiman credits Lenny Henry in the acknowledgements) this is entertainment of a high quality. As with "American Gods", there's a certain amount of magic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
interesting!
Published 16 days ago by cj
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best
I didn't finish the book as it bored me.
Published 1 month ago by Hannah Montana
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read!
Awesome book, so different, has the Gaiman-esque stamp to it which makes all of his books quirky and individual. A gripping read!
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Watkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars and there's disgusting.
I know it wont bother many people, but the wrong edition cover is in the preview image on this item. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Hurst
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fantastic and humorous with a sinister under current. An enjoyable and challenging read
Published 3 months ago by melbourne66
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 3 months ago by Steven Lynn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought as a present - review will follow when it has been read.
Published 4 months ago by Ells Bells!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it
Published 4 months ago by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
I fell in love with the characters immediately and felt the plot a good vehicle for them all. A great and fun read, thanks Neil!
Published 5 months ago by Mr. N. J. Pettefar
4.0 out of 5 stars the book i'd always recommend to people who ask of Mr Gaiman - a ...
the book i'd always recommend to people who ask of Mr Gaiman - a wide range of emotions and depth and heights of story and myth with a cool twist.
Published 6 months ago by Gillian Rodney
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